Becoming a Stinking Public IntellectualHan Han A GROWING STENCH has been gathering around the words ‘public intellectual’ – and by association, the label ‘intellectual’. This sullying of public intellectuals seems to have occurred in the last two years. I remember when many magazines would crown an annual ‘public intellectual’ – I’ve received the honour myself – but then, at some point, the term began to be used as an insult. Even in a debate where everyone’s obviously a public intellectual, one side only has to accuse the other of being public intellectuals and the latter must concede the battle and admit defeat.
One day Wang the Third, who had left for the city a year earlier, returned to their town. He asked stay-at-home Yu Li if he wanted to leave and go to work in the capital, adding that by great good fortune he knew of an elevator-operating team that might just be short of one operator.